Award tracker: Aidan Hutchinson named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
Aidan Hutchinson's trophy case better have some room in it, because the postseason awards and starting to roll in. The Big Ten announced today that Hutchinson has been named the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year.
Hutchinson, whose three sacks against Ohio State elevated him to the program's single-season sack record (13.0), was also named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week yesterday for his performance against the Buckeyes.
These awards come as no surprise to those around the program this season. As offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said earlier this season when discussing how Hutchinson helped bring back a number of players to this year's team, "And so Aidan is the absolute best player in college football. There is no doubt in my mind. The impact he brings to this team-- yes, in practice, we hate it, because the type of disruption he shows in games is the same way in practice. There’s no tackle that can block him, there’s no tight end that can block him. And he impacts the game in so many more ways than just what statistics show. He’s very disruptive. Obviously, he’s a pass rusher, he affects the game in the run game, but if you’re an opposing offensive coordinator, he changes your whole game plan and how you choose to attack a defense by having a guy that has that much threat to really affect a play. He’s a guy that’s a true difference-maker."
Jake Moody named Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year
Hutchinson wasn't the only Wolverine to pick up an award today, as kicker Jake Moody was named the Bakken-Andersen Big Ten Kicker of the Year. Moody is averaging 9.7 points per game, which is tied for tenth nationally. His 115 total points this season is Michigan's fourth-best single-season for a kicker. He is just three field goals shy of Remy Hamilton's 1994 single-season program record of 25.
Jim Harbaugh considers Moody one of the foundational players responsible for this season's success and said as much after the Ohio State game. "One of those two players. Hassan or Aidan would be our most valuable player. Two guys along with—Andrew Vastardis, Brad Hawkins, Jake Moody, Brad Robbins, Andrew Stueber, Ryan Hayes, there's a group of those guys that I call them 'The One's.' Without them, we wouldn't be where we are."
Three Wolverines earn first-team All-Big Ten honors
"Linebacker" David Ojabo was named first-team All-Big Ten by both coaches and media, as was defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson. Defensive back Daxton Hill was named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and second-team All-Big Ten by media members.
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